Weight loss, and the degree of difficulty experienced in achieving it, differs from person to person. One of the biggest hurdles to be jumped for anyone to enjoy long-term weight loss are busting the myths that surround it.
Myth 1 – Crash Weight-Loss Diets are the Fastest and/or Easiest Way to Lose Weight
The vast majority of crash or fad diets will not have any lasting effects on your weight. In fact, many of the worst of them will end up causing long-term weight gain. The fastest, easiest and best way to lose weight properly is through a combination of exercise and a balanced diet.
Myth 2 – Exercise is the Best Way to Lose Weight
It’s a mistake to think that all you have to do to manage your weight is to workout regularly. According to Men’s Health magazine based on an analysis of 33 clinical trials (2008), researchers determined that your diet controls 75% of weight loss.
But don’t put away your runners just yet! Exercise is still very important when it comes to losing weight. Exercising increases your heart rate and metabolism, both of which will help you burn more calories and lose the pounds. Exercise and bodybuilding also help to build Lean Body Mass (muscle), which by itself burns more calories. So simply by being more muscular, you will burn more calories doing the same activities as someone with less muscle. Exercise can also help boost your cardiovascular and overall health. Most importantly for anyone involved in weight training, a well-executed exercise plan will help you avoid injury and keep you on your weight training program for longer.
Myth 3 – Carbs Are the Enemy of Weight Loss
To give you an idea of the misinformation promoted by fad diets, while carb-reduced and carb-free diets are hailed as a great way to lose weight, most registered nutritionists, trainers and health professionals point out that you should get about half of your daily calories from carbohydrates.
Carbs are not the enemy. In fact, you need carbs to burn fat. Carbs are a great source of energy for your body, which powers your workouts. Carbs are not the problem, but the type of carbs we eat, and how many we consume that give us all the grief – and extra weight.
There are two types of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbs are generally considered the “bad” carbs, and complex carbs are considered “good” carbs. Simple carbs are found in foods like potatoes, white bread and white rice. Complex carbs are found in foods like fruits and vegetables.
But even bad carbs aren’t really bad for you. Your body breaks down and stores the energy in simple carbs faster than it does for complex carbs. That means if you don’t quickly burn the calories you get from simple carbs, your body will store the leftover energy as fat.
The real problem with simple carbs is that we usually eat too many of them. Foods with simple carbs are usually the cheapest to buy and easiest to prepare. They are in almost all processed food and are easily disguised in those foods. It’s always a good idea to check your nutrition label, especially for sugar content – processed sugar is just about as “simple” as a carb can get.
Losing weight, whether through changes in your diet, increased exercise, or a combination of both, puts a lot of stress on your body. The fastest and best way to healthily lose weight is to eat a healthy diet and make sure your body has the nutrition and energy it needs to help you reach your goals.